The Minnesota Vikings needed a few steps to clinch a playoff spot on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, but the first notch they needed to complete didn’t go as planned.
The Lions, behind Jared Goff’s 330 passing yards and three touchdown passes and the team’s 134 rushing yards, helped upset their NFC North rivals, 34-23. The loss means the Vikings will have to wait at least one more week to clinch a spot in the postseason.
Detroit led the game 14-7 at the half as Goff and rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams got the scoring started with a 41-yard touchdown pass. Goff would then throw a 48-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Chark to go up a score before the whistle sounded for halftime.
The scoring continued for the Lions.
Goff found Josh Reynolds for his third touchdown pass of the game to put the Lions up 21-7 with 5:44 remaining in the quarter. Minnesota would cut the deficit to eight points thanks to a 23-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Adam Thielen. But Minnesota’s defense just couldn’t get a stop.
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A Justin Jackson 15-yard touchdown run and two Michael Badgley field goals solidified the victory for Detroit.
Goff finished with 300 or more passing yards for the second consecutive game. It’s the first time he’s thrown for at least 300 yards in back-to-back games since 2020, when he was with the Los Angeles Rams.
Chark led the Lions with six catches for 94 yards. Williams’ touchdown catch was his only one of the game. Amon-Ra St. Brown had six catches for 68 yards. Nine different Lions players had receptions, including offensive lineman Penei Sewell, who kept Detroit’s final drive alive and led to a field goal.
Cousins finished 31 for 41 with 425 passing yards and two touchdown passes – one to Thielen and the other to K.J. Osborn.
Justin Jefferson had 11 catches for 223 yards but failed to score a touchdown. Detroit held Dalvin Cook to 23 yards on the ground, though he had a touchdown.
Minnesota fell to 10-3 as Detroit improved to 6-7, keeping their own playoff hopes alive.
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